THE odds might be stacked against them, but there will be no parking the bus as far as Swindon Supermarine are concerned when they tackle what appears to be their most difficult game of the season tomorrow, writes NEIL BECK.

Marine’s hosts, runaway league leaders Taunton Town, have not been beaten in Southern League West since September 26 and boast a 12-point advantage over second-placed Salisbury at the summit.

They were also 3-2 winners when the sides last met at the Webbswood Stadium in October and interim Marine boss Lee Spalding is fully aware of the size of the task awaiting his men in Somerset.

He says, however, that banishing negative thoughts will be key to the play-off chasing visitors’ chances of halting Taunton’s title juggernaut.

“The games are just getting easier and easier,” joked Spalding. “But we are looking forward to Saturday.

“Taunton have obviously got a decent budget to have attracted the players they have.

“Physically, they are the strongest team in the league. They’re very direct and grind teams down and it will be a tough game down there, for sure.

“But we’ve got to be positive and like any game the aim will be to go out and win it and have a proper go at them.

“We’re under no illusions but I do know we have the players to get something out of the game.”

Spalding was left frustrated last Saturday when Marine’s home clash with Salisbury – which has since been rescheduled for March 13 – was called off 90 minutes before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch.

But the postponement did allow 23-goal leading scorer Josh Parsons an extra seven days to recover from a tweaked medial knee ligament, while key defensive duo Zak Westlake and Ash Taylor have both returned to training.

Skipper Westlake has not played since fracturing an eye socket in Marine’s draw with Kidlington on New Year’s Day but is set to return to the fray at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon.

Left-back Michael Hopkins, who signed for Marine from North Leigh at the weekend and had been in line to face Salisbury, is also poised to make his debut.

“Things are starting to take shape and we have 19 or 20 in the squad now,” said Spalding, who has yet to taste defeat during his five-week tenure.

“They are all good players and will push one another and the competition for places is healthy.

“Zak and Ash being back in training is fantastic but the two lads who have played at centre-half, Matt Coupe and Joe Shepherd, have done really well for me, so there are selection headaches.

“But people will earn their places on performance and keep the shirt if they play well.”